106th annual East Texas State Fair returns to Tyler

Gates open Friday at 2 p.m.
106th annual East Texas State Fair returns to Tyler
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 12:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 9:38 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The smell of funnel cakes and sounds of livestock have returned to the historic East Texas State Fairgrounds. Gates open Friday at 2 p.m.

Food row is bustling with vendors selling everything that could possibly be deep fried, jumbo turkey legs, pizza and more. The City of Tyer benefits from the thousands of guests that come into town for the fair.

“Tyler is a unique area. It’s a beautiful area, and to have a fair with this history, and it’s this reputation draws people from all around country,” said fair president and CEO John Sykes. “The economic impact on the community that an event like this brings is gigantic, probably in the $12-15 million range.”

The fair hosts several exhibits and livestock shows as well as live music performances including the newest attraction – the butterfly encounter. In addition to the many food vendors and the livestock shows there is, of course, an extensive carnival setup complete with a carousel, a Ferris wheel, a fun slide and other rides fit for all ages.

Tyler PD is responsible for monitoring safety and traffic for the duration of the fair.

“On Front Street, we’re going to narrow it down to two lanes of traffic, one eastbound one westbound, and we will have a center divider which is to provide a crosswalk for pedestrians,” said Lieutenant Luke Schafer. “The speed limit is reduced on Front Street, and we ask people to slow down, to be cautious, to be highly vigilant, because there are people in the roadway. There will be officers at the crosswalks stopping traffic, so we ask them to please be very cautious.”

There is a dropoff/pickup zone for anything from carpooling to Ubers that can be accessed in the Eastbound lane.

The entrance to Rose Park on Houston Street will also be closed. People will have access to Mike Carter Field and Rose Stadium, but parking will be very limited, so guests are advised to park North of Front Street where there will be advertised parking.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6 to 11 and free for kids under 6. Learn more by clicking here.

KLTV 7's Lauren Tear interviews the CEO and president of the State Fair, John Sykes.